“Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude” (Luke 9:16).


Jesus broke the bread and gave it to the disciples to distribute to the multitude.  Amazingly, the few loaves were multiplied in the hands of Jesus and were more than enough to feed thousands.


The disciples had suggested to Jesus that He send the folks away so they could buy food.  The day was late and they had been with Jesus for hours; no doubt they were hungry.  The disciples had no idea that what they needed was in their midst.  Instead, they were ready to dismiss the multitude, not realizing their potential to meet that need.  Of course, the disciples were hungry too, and expected their lack to offer nothing to the situation. 


When we are needy, our vision sees only what we lack.  What can we contribute to others when we have such a great shortage ourselves?  This parable wasn’t just about food.  While it did meet the immediate problem, it was far deeper and spanned a wider truth than just the miracle of the loaves and fishes.


We may feel that we have nothing to assist our fellow travelers on this homeward pilgrimage. We are barely able to keep up with ourselves; our load is heavy.  Jesus would have us look at this parable and see that we are not in this alone.  Sure, we ourselves are needy; and our basket contains only a small loaf and a little fish.  Our first impulse is to feed ourselves, and if by chance there are leftovers, we will share.


This mindset is just the opposite of what Jesus was teaching His disciples.  They could have kept the loaves and fishes and sent the people away to fend for themselves, but Jesus had another plan.  Break and share.  We don’t like the idea of being broken; we avoid it whenever possible.  Don’t misunderstand and think we break ourselves.  It is not our nature to humble ourselves.  It takes brokenness to bring us to humility.  The Lord knows how to keep us through brokenness and bring us into usefulness with something to share.


We are first broken, made useable, and then we have something to give to those the Lord puts in our path.  When the bread passed through Jesus’ hands, it was broken.  It lost its original shape and took on a new form crafted by the master’s hand.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The cross is an example.  Actually, it began before the cross.  Jesus, the Son of God, was rejected, tortured, murdered and considered an outlaw; but through that brokenness, He became our Salvation!  The Bible tells us that He learned obedience.

“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).


That is how we, too, learn obedience.  We don’t have to wound ourselves like some pagans do, thinking their god will like them better.  Life itself will provide lessons; some we will pass, some we will fail; but we are learning through them.  The Lord allows them, because He knows the results will cause us to become more like Him.

“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:17).

“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2 Timothy 2:12).


We don’t always recognize the testing and the God-allowed suffering.  We complain and try to figure a way out when what we need is to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us through it.  The Psalmist knew this when he said “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.”

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (1 Pete 4:12).


Are you like the multitude that Jesus was teaching—hungry with only a mite’s worth to feed you?  Is your heart hungry to ease the burden of those you love bent beneath heavy loads, but you don’t think you have anything to lighten and share their burden?


We must allow Jesus to break us like the small loaves and fishes, reshape us after His image and pass us around to those He determines that we can “feed.”  It may not seem like much, but it might be just what is needed to save them!   Jesus said He was the Bread of Life; He was broken to redeem us.  Now with His Spirit living in us, we can share that broken bread that will sustain someone who might die without it.  Remember the verse at the beginning:  After Jesus had broken the five loaves and two fishes—He gave portions to the disciples for distribution


May we be portions crafted by the Master’s hand, distributed and distributors of the Bread of Life!






@ There's Good News September 2012

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